Anna is the Chief Executive of NCB. She is also the Vice-chair of Asylum Aid, a charity which provides free legal advice and representation to the most vulnerable and excluded asylum seekers, and lobbies and campaigns for an asylum system based on inviolable human rights principles. 

Starting out in the voluntary sector

“At 18 I wasn’t particularly interested in academic study, I was more interested in learning by doing.  While there were strong expectations that I would go to university, when I didn’t get the required A levels it helped me focus on what I wanted to do most – which was to become a journalist.

I was a journalist on a local paper and actively involved in international campaigns like the Anti-Apartheid Movement. When a job came up at Oxfam working as a press officer on campaigns it seemed like the perfect combination of my interests. I stayed with Oxfam for over ten years and had been promoted to Head of Communications by the time I left.

Professional development

My early development as a manager came primarily from being a trade union rep and receiving excellent training from the TUC and the National Union of Journalists. For the past ten years I’ve learned most from being part of a peer learning group using a technique called action learning. I benefitted greatly from an excellent coach when I first became a chief executive. My skills have also been developed by in-house training and development.


I led a consortium of international organisations to deliver a joint programme celebrating the lives of people living on the zero degrees meridian line as part of the UK’s Millennium event. It became the centre piece of Channel Four’s Millennium programming and featured in the Millennium Dome.

I also created an international partnership owned and governed by its national member organisations who together change the lives of children living outside of family care and who support families to stay together.

Anna has also been the Chair of ActionAid UK and the Chair of Bond, the membership organisation for the UK’s international development organisations. After working for Oxfam, Anna became Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the Association of London Government where she worked with London’s 33 authorities on child protection issues following the Victoria Climbie case and the introduction of Every Child Matters legislation.